Q: MGL 71-68 appears to allow some students (living more than 3 miles from their school in their own town and closer than 3 miles to a school in an adjacent town) to attend school in that adjacent town at Wayland's expense. How has that been factored in to the FY09 budget?

A: The attorney spoke the General Counsel for the Massachusetts Department of Education about the implications of MGL Chapter 71, Section 68 with respect to Wayland potentially having to provide tuition and transportation for certain children to attend public school in an adjoining town.

The General Counsel agreed that the language of the law was vague (for instance, did the "1 mile to a bus stop clause" apply). Since the General Counsel's arrival at DOE in the early 1980s, the matter had not come before the Department (they are reviewing to see if it had done so in prior years).

It was the General Counsel's opinion that the decision was entirely at the discretion of the Department and that it was unlikely that the Department would order a host district to pay such tuition and transportation, especially if the host district provided transportation within town and if tuition/transportation to an adjoining town would be more expensive than the transportation within town.